Dr. Youngran Park

Dr. Park received her Ph.D. in Pathobiology from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and is currently a postdoctoral research fellow at JHU. She received Pathology Young Investigator Day Award at 2016 and 2017 for her study of ARID1A function in DNA repair. She strongly believes the spirit of translational research is to alleviate human suffering through research.

Exosomal miR-214 from endometrial stromal cells inhibits endometriosis fibrosis.

Fibrosis is an important pathological feature of endometriosis. Novel therapies targeting the mechanisms of fibrosis in endometriosis are indispensable for the development of strategies to prevent and treat endometriosis. Previous microarray studies have detected some miRNAs that are aberrantly expressed in endometriosis. miR-214, one of the miRNAs down-regulated in human endometriotic cyst stromal cells (ECSCs), is known to have fibrosis-suppressor roles, including the inhibition of fibroblast proliferation, collagen synthesis, and the epithelial-mesenchymal transition process. However, it remains unclear whether the…

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Stem cell therapy for the premature ovarian failure 

Premature ovarian failure (POF) is one of the common disorders found in women. The cause of POF is not fully known, but various factors have been suggested. In genetically, X and autosomes chromosome abnormalities could result in some POF. The defects in the steroidogenic pathway and environmental factors including viral infections and smoking can attribute to POF. Furthermore, autoimmune diseases such as Addison’s, disease and vitiligo, are associated with POF. As a result of the complexity of POF, different remedies…

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Endometrial stem cells and Endometriosis

Human endometrium is a cyclically proliferative tissue, and this monthly regeneration is likely mediated by endometrial stem (or progenitor) cells.The upper functional layer of the endometrium breaks down and is shed into the uterine cavity during menstruation. Re-epithelialization and repair of the endometrium is a rapid scar-free process, and re-epithelialization is rapidly followed. The new functionalis layer arises from the underlying basal layer, which contains the progenitor cells required to support repetitive regeneration. The remarkable recovery of the endometrium is…

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Enhanced UGT1A1 Gene and Protein Expression in Endometriotic Lesions.

The estrogen plays an essential role in endometriosis. Lately, it is becoming evident that, besides the circulating levels of estrogens, the balance of synthesis versus inactivation (metabolism) of estrogens by intralesional steroid-metabolizing enzymes also determines the local net estrogen availability. To extend the knowledge of the role of estrogen-metabolizing enzymes in endometriosis, the group of Dr. Ferriani from the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil, investigated UGT1A1, a key uridine diphospho-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) for estrogen glucuronidation. They compared the UGT1A1 gene…

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Interleukin 6 secretion from activated macrophages promotes the migration of endometriotic epithelial cells

Endometriosis is a chronic inflammatory disease. Accumulating evidence suggests that endometriosis patients have a higher level of various inflammatory factors which are associated with the pathogenesis of the disease. Several studies have shown marked increases in macrophage populations and activity in endometriosis patients, suggesting a critical function of macrophage on establishment and progression of endometriosis. Given that endometriosis shares several features with malignant cells, M2 macrophages, tumor-associated macrophages, in endometriosis become more critical. To have a better understanding of the molecular…

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Irritable bowel syndrome and endometriosis.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and endometriosis are two diseases affecting a significant part of the female population, either together or individually, with remarkable consequences in the quality of life. Several studies suggest an epidemiological association between them. Their association may not be just an epidemiological phenomenon, but the manifestation of a pathophysiological correlation, which probably generates a mutual promotion phenomenon. In particular, both clinical entities share the presence of a chronic low-grade inflammatory state at the basis of the disease…

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The endometrial stem cell markers notch-1 and numb are associated with endometriosis. 

The pathological mechanisms of endometriosis are still poorly understood. However, stem cells have been candidates of interest because of their high proliferation potential and their ability to differentiate into multiple lineages, contributing to characteristic traits of endometriosis. Also, previous studies reported increased expression of the notch pathway-associated protein Musashi-1 in endometriosis. Given the emerging role of endometrial stem cells in the pathogenesis of endometriosis, Dr. Götte group from the University Hospital of Münster in Germany evaluated the possible role of…

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Endometriosis and its pro-fibrotic nature. 

Endometriosis is currently defined as the presence of endometrial epithelial and stromal cells at ectopic sites. However, with advances in disease knowledge, several vital issues challenge this old definition. Especially, endometrial stromal and glands have been shown to represent only a minor component of endometriotic lesions, and they are often absent in some disease forms. In rectovaginal nodules, the glandular epithelium is often not surrounded by stroma, and frequently no epithelium can be identified in the wall of ovarian endometriomas.…

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The effects of MK2206 and chloroquine combination therapy on endometriosis.

Endometriosis affects approximately 10% of women of reproductive age. A high recurrence rate after medical treatment with or without surgery is a significant clinical problem for patients with endometriosis. Establishment of a complete cure for patients with endometriosis awaits new targets and strategies. Dr. Michel Canis group from Université Clermont Auvergne previously found that MK2206 (AKT inhibitor) may induce autophagy, suggesting the inhibition of autophagy is promising for targeting endometriosis. Therefore, they hypothesized that treatment with chloroquine, an FDA approved autophagy inhibitor,…

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Inhibition of Histone methyltransferase for fighting endometriosis

Although the histone methyltransferase EZH2 and its product H3K27me3 are well studied in cancer, little is known about their role and potential as therapeutic targets in endometriosis. It has been previously reported that the endometriotic lesions are characterized by global enrichment of H3K27me3, suggesting that targeting EZH2 may be a promising option. This Puerto-Rico-USA collaborative study found that endometriotic lesions had significantly higher EZH2α nuclear immunostaining levels compared to the eutopic endometrium from controls. In some endometriotic lesions, H3K27me3 was…

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"N-myc Downstream-Regulated Gene 1" and Endometriosis.

NDRG1 is implicated in many different cellular functions such as differentiation, proliferation, migration, invasion, and vascularization. In endometriosis, NDRG1 is identified as an inhibitor of several important pathways. To focus on the potential function of NDRG1 in endometriosis, Lou et al., from Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology,  Capital Medical University, Beijing, China,  summarized the relationship between NDRG1 and endometriosis. In the process of tumorigenesis, NDRG1 modulates key signaling pathways, such as NF-κB, PI3K/AKT/mTOR, Ras/Raf/MEK/ERK, and Wnt/β-catenin signal pathway. NF-κB pathway…

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Therapeutic Roles of Statins in Gynecology and Obstetrics.

Statins are a class of drugs, which act by inhibiting the rate-limiting enzyme of cholesterol biosynthesis, which reduces lipid production. Therefore, statin has been used for the treatment of hypercholesterolemia and coronary artery disease. This study published in Reproductive Sciences performed by Zeybek et al., and the researchers from the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, The University of Texas and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, USA, summarize the literature search for articles related to statins in obstetrics and gynecology.…

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Is the presence of endometriosis associated with a survival benefit in pure ovarian clear cell carcinoma?

Ovarian clear cell carcinoma (OCCC) has been known to be associated with endometriosis for a long time. However, the impact of the presence of endometriosis around the tumor on the prognoses of women with OCCC is still controversial. To shed more light on this issue, this group designed a retrospective and dual-institutional study with a well-defined, and homogeneous study population. A total of 93 women met the inclusion criteria. Of these patients, 48 were diagnosed with OCCC arising in endometriosis,…

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Epigenetic regulation of the pathological process in endometriosis.

Epigenetic mechanisms have been recognized as important players in the development of a broad range of human diseases including endometriosis. A growing body of evidence shows that the remodeling of retrograde endometrial tissues to the ectopic endometriotic lesions involves multiple epigenetic alterations such as DNA methylation, histone modification, and microRNA expression. Therefore, in this review, the author focuses on how epigenetic regulatory factors contribute to the development and maintenance of endometriosis. First, the alteration of DNA methylation has been known to…

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The Use of Resveratrol as an Adjuvant Treatment of Pain in Endometriosis

Endometriosis is considered a predominantly estrogen-dependent disease, and therefore hormonal suppression might be an attractive medical approach to treat this disease and its symptoms. Resveratrol is a natural phytoestrogen synthesized by plants and has known to have side effects such as mild, mainly related to a headache and drowsiness. The use of resveratrol has been suggested to treat endometriosis, due to its anti-proliferative action, but the potential benefits and harms have not been demonstrated in endometriosis patients. Therefore, this group…

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The Deregulated Molecular Functions Involved in Malignant Transformation of Endometriosis to Endometriosis-Associated Ovarian Carcinoma

Endometriosis-associated ovarian cancer (EAOC) is postulated to be transformed from endometriosis. Though different deregulated functional areas were proposed accounting for the pathogenesis of EAOC transformation, there is a lack of data-driven analysis to prove this. To understand the EAOC pathogenesis better, this group conducted the function-based, data-driven study to investigate complex diseases with the functionomes. They used microarray gene expression datasets of endometriosis, CCC, and EC from the National Center for Biotechnology Information Gene Expression Omnibus (NCBI GEO) database. The group…

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How good are the current guidelines on endometriosis? 

The endometriosis was first described in 1860, yet the etiology and pathogenesis remain poorly understood. Treatment strategies vary significantly between disease severity and the symptoms of pain and/or subfertility. These challenges have resulted in multidirectional research, and the comparability of research to inform patient care through evidence synthesis in the context of guideline formation and patient information. Therefore, an appropriate and rigorous guideline development is highly required to improve patient care. This is the first study to systematically appraise the…

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Autophagy in endometriosis

Endometriosis is a common gynecologic disease affecting both fertile (5-10%) and infertile (20-50%) women, and it commonly causes chronic pelvic pain, dysmenorrhea, and infertility. Recent research found that the autophagy exerts a pro-apoptotic effect on normal human endometrial cells and it is significantly reduced in endometriosis-derived endometrial tissues compared with the normal endometrium. Based on accumulating in vivo and in vitro evidence, the level of autophagy is most likely associated with the pathogenesis of endometriosis. Therefore, this paper systematically reviews…

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Investigational Medical Therapies for Endometriosis: Current Data and Future Trends. 

The medical treatment of endometriosis has traditionally relied on hormonal therapies. Because these hormonal therapies preclude fertility or may have unwanted side effects, there is a great need for novel hormonal and non-hormonal medical options. Therefore, this review focuses on investigational medical therapies based on in vitro and in-vivo models of endometriosis and assesses the safety and efficacy. It has been suggested that endometriosis, currently treated with GnRH agonists, may be more effectively treated with GnRH antagonists. Several animal studies have demonstrated the…

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Autophagy in endometriosis: Friend or foe?  

Endometriosis is a chronic, estrogen-dependent disease and affects an estimated 10% of the female population of reproductive age. Unfortunately, the etiology of endometriosis is not clear. Recently emerging evidence shows that there is a close relationship between endometriosis and autophagy. However, the precise mechanism has not been fully elucidated yet. This paper provides acquired findings of the connections between endometriosis and autophagy. Also, they discuss which may contribute to the abnormal level of autophagy in endometriosis. Several papers have suggested…

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